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The Surprising Number Of Non-Player Deaths In Squid Game

Netflix's "Squid Game" is a pretty violent show. After all, the premise of a tournament made up of deadly kids' games suggests there'll be plenty of blood, and the very first episode drives the point home by killing over half of the characters over the span of a few minutes. 

Since the hit survival drama keeps meticulous count of the player fatalities, there's no escaping the magnitude of the carnage. Out of the 456 contestants who take part in the game, 255 die during the very first "Red Light, Green Light" event. 14 players elect to leave the game permanently in the aftermath of that massacre, and out of the 187 people who return to compete, only Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) makes it out alive. 

This means that an absurd 441 players die over the course of the show's events. However, the many brutal fates of the poor people in the green track suits make it easy to overlook the fact that the show's body count would be pretty high even if you remove the players from the equation. 

10 non-players die in Squid Game

The first non-player death happens in Episode 2 of "Squid Game," when gangster Jang Deok-su (Heo Sung-tae) stabs a treacherous accomplice who sells him out to his debtors. In Episode 3, brothers Hwang Jun-ho (Wi Ha-joon) and the Front Man (Lee Byung-hun) kill a worker each — one to assume their identity and infiltrate the game, the other to punish a guard for removing his mask. Episodes 4 and 5 are also tough on the staff, as all workers involved in the organ theft racket perish in various ways (via Reddit). 

As you see, most of the non-player deaths in "Squid Game" are nameless, uniformed workers. However, the final two episodes change this in a dramatic way. Your mileage may vary on whether Jun-ho survives being shot by the Front Man and falling off a cliff, but since that marks the end of his story, and his accumulated injuries would quite likely be fatal, chances are that the plucky police officer perishes. On the other hand, the most tragic non-player death in the show leaves no room for interpretation, as Gi-hun's long-suffering mother (Kim Young-ok) dies of diabetes before he manages to return home. The final fatality of the show is the very creator of the reality show-like game, Oh Il-nam (O Yeong-su), due to his brain tumor.

Assuming that Jun-ho doesn't pull off a magical survival in the eventual "Squid Game" Season 2, this means a total of 10 non-player characters die in the show. While nowhere near the level of the player characters' grim fates, it's still a pretty high body count for a nine-episode show.